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SBD Global/July 4, 2014/Franchises

Judge Finds That Coventry City's Hedge Fund Owner Sisu 'Seriously Mismanaged' The Club

League One side Coventry City's hedge fund owner Sisu, which "moved the proud club to Northampton," has suffered "total defeat in a high court judgment damning their 'mismanagement' and a 'rent-strike' they conducted to imperil the owners of the Ricoh Arena," according to David Conn of the London GUARDIAN. In the action, Sisu "made allegations that Coventry City Council and its officers behaved improperly when the council refinanced a loan to the arena operating company, ACL," in Jan. '13. Justice Hickinbottom found that the council "behaved properly throughout, but was prompted to buy out the loan partly" because, in April 2012, Sisu had "withheld rent due at the Ricoh" in order to financially "distress" ACL and buy a half share of it "at a knockdown price." The judge found that Sisu had by then "seriously mismanaged" the club, having lost around £40M since '08 -- when the hedge fund bought City, "then in the Championship and playing at the Ricoh, as a 'commercial investment'" (GUARDIAN, 7/3).
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